E. A. Hammond


Dr. Benjamin B. Strobel, Charleston physician, left his South Carolina home in September, 1829, to seek professional opportunity in Key West, Florida. What motivated his departure is never totally disclosed in his writings, nor does he indicate his reasons for choosing the comparative primitiveness of the Florida Keys. He reveals only that he “was some time in doubt as to what course I should steer, when, having heard that there was something in my profession at Key West, I determined at once to go there.” Nevertheless, upon arriving at the island town of some five hundred inhabitants just staggering through a severe epidemic of yellow fever, he found immediate demand for his many capacities and proceeded to serve for the ensuing three years as the town’s chief physician, the surgeon to the recently established army post, editor of the Key West Gazette, amateur naturalist, and civic and religious leader.